15+ Eastern European Capitals That No One Thinks To Visit – So Go Now!

Do you dream of Europe, but it’s just too expensive? Pass up Paris and Rome and head to the best travel deal…Eastern Europe. The capitals of Eastern Europe have much to offer at a great price. This list will tell you all about them and how wonderful they really are.

I love Paris. I love London. I even love Rome, but why is it that when we start thinking of buying a ticket to Europe we don’t consider some of the lesser-known capital cities? Recently Jim and I have made it a point to really explore Eastern Europe more.

We’ve found these cities to be loaded with beautiful architecture, delicious foods, and plenty to do. But do you know what the best part is? They are all a fraction of the cost of visiting Paris and London. Your money goes so much further; it’s such a good feeling to know that you can still travel to places relatively unknown and not have to break the bank to do it. Here are our top ten favorite Eastern European capital cities.

The Best of Eastern European Capitals

As much as I love visiting the countryside, villages, and smaller cities everywhere I go, traveling to capital cities are such a good way to be introduced to the country. The capital is where you will find at least one major historical museum, an art museum, great restaurants, government buildings, and usually a fantastic pubic transportation system so you can easily get around. It’s also the easiest place to visit in each country since it’s always serviced with an international airports.

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Colorful old townhouses in Tallinn, Estonia.
Charming and colorful town squares can be found in almost every Eastern European capital city.

I love to go to capital cities on the weekend or for day trips, but if I’m building a country-wide itinerary for two weeks or longer, I tend to get out of the city right away, then come back and do these things at the end after I’ve seen the rest. That way when I go to the museum and the artist is from X town, I’ve been there and can relate to it much better. I do know a lot of travelers that concentrate on just the capital and big cities of a country, though, because there is always so much to do.

Helsinki waterfront is a great place to catch a ferry or go for a swim.
After such a recent turbulent past for many Eastern European cities, it’s their time to shine!

The Best Eastern European Cities to Visit Before the Rest of the World

Without further ado, here is my list of ten European capital cities that you should put on your travel itinerary. These are all ones that we’ve fallen in love with and think you will too. We’ve listed a must-see history and art museum, plus our recommendations for a restaurant in each capial city. We hope it will get you started traveling to one of the best parts of Europe!

Eastern European Capitals That No One Thinks To Visit - So Go Now!


If you want to start traveling again, why not head to some of these lesser visited spots in Eastern Europe? The capital cities are modern, have tons of things to do, great history museums, fantastic art, and amazing restaurants with great food. The best thing is they are usually cheaper to travel to than some of the western European cities. So what are you waiting for?

Have you been to any of these cities? What was your favorite spot?

Save Eastern European Cities for later.

Bratislava and Belgrade, 2 Eastern European Cities to visit now!
You will want to start exploring these amazing capitals of Eastern Europe.

18 thoughts on “15+ Eastern European Capitals That No One Thinks To Visit – So Go Now!”

  1. This is a great list. David hates crowds so cities like these, just slightly off the tourist trail, would be a real find for us. We have been to Ljubjana and loved it but we haven’t been to any of the others you mention. We have toyed with the idea of visiting Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. This post might just prompt me to dust off our plans for those countries and get going.

  2. Steve Tierney

    We have been to most- enjoyed every one we visited. Riga was the most surprising as we were not expecting much and it was terrific.

  3. Corinne I so want to get to all 10 places you have listed. So far I have only made it to Ljubljana, Belgrade and Bratislava and loved them all in that order. I just wish we were closer to Europe so we could visit more and more, but Eastern Europe is definitely an area we hope to explore next trip. Loved this post.

  4. This is a great and inspiring list. Eastern Europe and the Scandinavia region often get overlooked for the mainstream capital cities. We’ve only been to Tallinn and Helsinki on this list. We’d love to explore more of Eastern Europe. We really loved Tallinn and hope to return soon. I’m eyeing Vilnius and Sofia on this list.

  5. I’m sorry to say that I have only visited several East European countries. All your blog posts have inspired me to move a number of these countries up on my list. Unfortunately, there is only so much time and South America is next up. At least I have your posts to inspire my travel to Eastern Europe.

  6. I discovered Central and Eastern Europe last year and fell in love with the cities and countryside. I agree, they are way cheaper and less crowded. I haven’t been to any of the cities in your list, so, I have to travel a lot.

  7. I would love to go to any of these! John has been to conferences in Sofia* a couple of times but I think that’s the only one either of us could tick off. They just take such a long time to get to from Scotland. We went to Budapest last month, chosen basically by running our eyes down the list of direct flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh. It was great though!

    *The first time in the late 80s. He had to buy a package holiday to a beach resort then get a bus, as there were no scheduled flights to Sofia at all! So things have improved since then….

      1. Yes, but we have to get to London or (preferably Amsterdam) first so it would need to be much longer than a weekend to make the travelling time worth it. However, maybe after we’ve been to Canada this year we will rethink our major vacation destinations which have been exclusively North American for the last decade. Reading your travels in Eastern Europe is definitely inspiring me!

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